Environmental impact of the MOD70

Use of an MOD70 for one year = round trip Geneva-Berlin by plane

Friday September 24th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: Switzerland

As the interest for multihulls is confirmed with the announcement of the new format of the America’s Cup, the first MOD70 is being assembled withthe launch on schedule for February 2011. Multi One Design S.A. is an eco-responsible programme, combining high-level sport, high technology and eco-responsibility… and as a result a new collaboration has been reached the Swiss company Quantis SA, which will analyse the MOD70 lifecycle: a serious, scientific, public study, with no compromise.

- Multi One Design fights for the preservation of the water on the planet and tackles important challenges such as the preservation of drinking water resources and of the oceans.

- Multi One Design is building eco-responsible race villages and is developing an international circuit with similarly committed partners in the host cities. Multi One Design wants to create, in collaboration with the host cities, environmentally respectful events.

- Multi One Design supports the 'Multi One Attitude Foundation', a foundation that takes their message into the heart of cities, to act, to inform and to convince, without preaching. This will involve a pavillion dedicated to water preservation. The pavillion will be based in the centre of all the race villages during the Multi One Championship.

Lifecycle analysis: what’s that?

The lifecycle analysis is a methodology commonly used to assess the environmental impact of products or companies. This method is governed by International Standards, ISO 14'040 and 14'044. The lifecycle of a product generally refers to the entire life of a product, from the extraction of the raw materials until the elimination of the product (recycling, incineration, etc), through the phases of manufacturing, logistics and utilisation.

The study has been focussing on the MOD70's environmental impact, concentrating on the following categories: global warming, associated to the greenhouse gas emissions, the resources, this indicator taking into account the consumption of non-renewable primary energy (or grey energy) and ores extraction, and in particular the water footprint (indicator which includes the direct and indirect use of fresh water consumption necessary to produce goods or services).

The results of the study have shown that it is the construction of the boat and all the related logistics which represent the highest impact at all levels, namely at the global warming level and at the level of the water footprint. The materials used for the construction have an important impact on the environment, in particular the carbon fibre. However, today carbon fibre is the only material which makes it possible to construct multihulls of this size and performance. It is however interesting to note that the MOD 70 water footprint, which represents 859 litres per kilo of built boat, is much lower that the water footprint of many agricultural products, such as 15,500lt of water to produce one kilo of beef or 3,400lt for one kilo of rice (source : Water Footprint Network).


Considering these three impact indicators, the use of an MOD 70 during one year is equivalent to:

In terms of global warming: a round trip Geneva - Berlin by plane

In terms of resources: 308 barrels of oil

In terms of water footprint: the water necessary to produce 1 ton of wheat

Thanks to the one-design concept and to the long-life circuit (10 years programme), the impact of the construction, the most harmful category for the environment, is limited and relatively reduced compared to other racing boats. This is due to the fact that the tooling (equipment), which counts for an important consumption of composite material is re-used for the construction of the entire series of the 12 MOD70 multihulls (and isn't rebuilt for each boat). Then, only one sailing boat is used for high level competition during 10 years (unlike many other racing boats). Ihe water footprint from an MOD 70 in competition is about three times less than that of the old generation of multihulls, the ORMA 60.

Marco Simeoni, Multi One Design SA CEO and President of the Multi One Attitude Foundation explains: “Any eco-responsible project should be supported by an impact study. Indeed, if we want to preserve the planet, it is a necessity to know the consequences of our actions on the environment and to make up for them.” He continues: “The construction of the MOD 70 racing boats has an important impact on the global warming, on the non-renewable primary energies and on the water footprint. A way to limit these impacts is to extend the lifespan of the boats (MOD 70' = 10 years), to minimise the transport of the various structural boat components, and to find solutions for the recycling of the materials at the end of their lifetime. Beyond those actions, it is also necessary to compensate for our impacts. One of the Multi One Attitude Foundation missions is to build a positive global balance."

See the full report here

MOD70 timeline:

February 2011: Launch of the MOD nr 1 (Lorient)

May to October 2011: Delivery of the MOD nr 2 to nr 4

October or November 2011: Test-Match (exhibition race with four MOD 70)

January to May 2012 : Delivery of the MOD nr 5 and nr 6

Race Programme: 2012 / 2014

July 2012: Ocean Race

September 2012: European Tour

June 2013: European Tour

November 2013–April 2014: Ocean World Tour (6 stopovers, 5 oceans, 12 racing teams)

July or September 2014: Ocean Race

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